Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The Tuesday Twat(s)No. 40. Vaioni Group.
"Who?", I hear you cry. Well they are the reason that I haven't blogged since the last Twat posting - they are my Internet Service Provider - and they are utterly shite.
"So leave them!" I hear you cry, as you roll your eyes at my foolishness. Sadly it is not that simple, I am afraid. Vaioni are the sole network providers to my apartment block. They wired the building when it was being built, and have an exclusive contract. The building's telephone system is similarly exclusive, meaning that I can't simply hook up BT broadband to my regular phone line.
My broadband connection has been patchy since day one. At first, it wasn't too bad. I sustained downloads of up to 1.5Mbits in the evening. As a night owl, that suits me fine. Two years ago, that was pretty darn good for £27/month. BT and AOL both offered basic 512Kbit packages for not much less.
However, the provider's shortcomings first became apparent when the network went down one evening. I phoned the helpline and was met with a recorded message "Welcome to Vaioni group limited. Our office hours are 9am to 5pm, monday to friday". Yup, that's right. They only work office hours. I'll leave a message, I thought. Ummm, no answerphone. A search of the company's website reveals that that is the only number available.
Well, I live in a building primarily populated with people who work - thus if the service goes down during the night, the chances are that none of the residents will notice before 5pm the following day, and so the problem goes unreported (and thus unfixed) until the following day. It goes without saying that the cowboys at Vaioni have no idea what the network status is until they are phoned by a pissed off resident. Now imagine what happens if it goes down Thursday night... yup, no internet access for me until monday evening. When I got precisiely 1 hour before it went down again. Just enough time for my email inbox to fill with spam - but not enough time to answer any of it.
It is now 2005. BT and numerous rivals offer 2Mbits for about £15.99/month (and even throw in free equipment), so £27/month for 1.5 to 2Mbits (if you are very lucky and no one else is using the network) with no out of hours service support, is fucking shite.
However, the peasants are revolting. A demand has been signed by all residents and passed to da management. If they don't either up the speed, drop the price or let us switch, we are going to stop paying (we all have a rolling contract, so they can't force anything). Let's see who folds first... Twats.
Labels: The Tuesday Twat(s)
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